Thursday, August 5, 2021
I wanted to follow up yesterday's post on the rise of COVID cases in SNFs with this article about West Virginia's efforts, Amid Covid Booster Debate, West Virginia to Check Immunity of Vaccinated Nursing Home Residents.
West Virginia raced ahead of the country last winter to get people in nursing homes vaccinated against covid-19, but with cases and hospitalizations on the rise again, state officials want to know whether immunity levels are falling for residents who had their shots... Starting [this month], the state plans to begin measuring the levels of disease-fighting antibodies in the blood of vaccinated nursing home residents, which could help indicate whether they need a booster shot. The process will be voluntary and the data will be shared with federal health agencies evaluating the need for boosters."
The article points out there there is no authorization yet from the federal government for the boosters.W.VA. has done better than most states and the number of cases (at the time of the article was published at the end of July) bears this out. In addition to measuring residents anti-body levels, the state will look at the number of COVID hospitalizations, deaths, and "break-through" infections.